30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." -John 19:30
The word "finished" has been the mantra of my life as of late. This past week I eagerly "finished" school and will be enjoying Christmas vacation with family. This past Friday I "finished" my master's degree - a long and laborious process that I am glad to have done. Over this next week I need to "finish" Christmas shopping and wrapping presents, and I need to "finish" packing for our trip to see family. You get the idea...finish - to complete a task or journey.
So why would I choose this Bible verse as the meditation for my devotion? Why would I choose to invoke images of blood shed on the Cross of Calvary when at this time of year we prefer the innocence of the manger bed and the quiet Christmas night so often depicted on cards and church bulletins? Simple - to remind us that Christmas was only the beginning. Jesus' task was not finished. Our salvation had come to earth in the form of a baby, but it would be this baby's eventual death on Calvary and His resurrection that would fling wide the gates of eternal life.
In the church year, the happiness and joy of Christmas will soon give way to the solemn meditations of Lent and the eventual alleluias of Easter. We know how the story ends...yet even now, we wait for the promise to be fulfilled - to be finished. We wait for Jesus' second coming, when He will take us to heaven to live with our Heavenly Father, and we put our faith and trust in this promise.
It's Christmas...but Easter's Coming!
Thank you for coming to earth and fulfilling the promise of salvation. We earnestly pray and await your second coming. Continue to bless and keep us close to you. Amen